AGENT 6 has gone straight into the bestseller charts at number 6, after just three days of sales.
The Independent has selected AGENT 6, published in the UK in July, as one of the hot summer reads.
It’s wonderful to announce that CHILD 44 is now to be published in Russia, bringing the total number of countries to 33.
CHILD 44 has been selected by the US Library Journal as one of their contemporary classic thrillers. It’s a huge honor, I’ve used the US spelling of the word.
Here is the article. And the link.
By Kathleen Collins, Megan McArdle, Vicki Nesting, Sharron Smith, Gillian Speace, Miriam Tuliao & Michelle Young
Jun 9, 2011
The thrill of the chase, a feeling of tension, and a protagonist in danger: these are the elements that readers seeking excitement and exhilaration demand in their fiction. Thrillers or suspense novels, now often referred to categorically as the adrenaline genre, often feature heart-pounding stories that cross many genres, including psychological, medical, legal, sf, and espionage. The classics, which set the standard for the genre, have given birth to many enduring characters such as James Bond, Jason Bourne, and Hannibal Lecter. Contemporary thrillers continue that tradition but with a modern twist—Lisbeth Salander, anyone?
Members of The Reading List—the RUSA/CODES committee that selects the year’s best genre fiction—here pick both classic and contemporary thrillers for a core collection.
Smith, Tom Rob. Child 44. Grand Central. 2009. 528p. ISBN 9780446402392. pap. $9.50. F
In Stalinist Russia, Leo Demidov is a complex man, a war hero and officer in the MGB, the State Security Force, and an idealist; however, when he suggests that the death of a local child may be murder and his wife is accused of espionage, he loses his coveted state position and benefits and is sent into exile. Despite this banishment, Leo relentlessly continues to unravel the case and soon believes that it is the work of a serial killer. This dark and brooding debut thriller is a compelling tale of one man’s struggle to maintain his beliefs and idealism in the face of the ultimate challenge of having to define where loyalty lies and where redemption can be found. (See LJ‘s review.)
After much discussion with my editors, and booksellers, and taking into account all the feedback I’ve had from readers (thanks to everyone who mailed with suggestions and comments) the title for the third and final Leo Demidov novel will be AGENT 6. In Japan, they want to use AGENT 06, to connect with CHILD 44, the use of two numbers being important for symmetry.
So far, we’re looking at a summer 2011 release for the UK. And I’m going on a tour in Germany in the Autumn, in October, starting in Frankfurt. The US is currently looking at at January 2012 release date.
My fourth book, which will be something completely new, is now underway, which is very exciting. The feeling is similar to when is started on CHILD 44, finding my way with a new narrative style. All I can say at the moment is that it’s a thriller, and it’s not set in the Soviet Union.
Last year I gave the charitable cut from the CHILD 44 royalties to a homeless charity called St Mungo’s. Not wishing to be too neat about things but it always struck me as nice that those groups in society who suffered horribly because of the way the murders depicted in the novel were wrongly investigated should receive some of the profits from the book. Anyway, it is very flattering that St Mungo’s have asked me to give a reading at this year’s Carol Concert. It’s going to be an original piece and the only reading I’m giving in London this year. The invitation is open to everyone to come along, it should be a great night. It’s in a wonderful venue. And the money raised goes to a good cause.
For more information, and information on how to buy tickets, please follow the link below.
Some bestseller list updates. CHILD 44 is one of the bestselling books at the moment in China, on amazon.cn the chart position has been as high as number 3 across all fiction. Often I’m asked what is the most surprising element of being published and the answer is always the international sales. It never crossed my mind that the book would sell so well abroad. To be the best selling English language work of fiction in China is incredible. I’m thrilled and plan to visit the country soon. The cover is very stylish, and completely different to any other edition, a night sky, rather than a day scene. Coincidentally the new American trade paperback edition will use a night sky and is similar in style. That edition will be released next year. Always in the UK we’re repackaging all the books for the release of THE LAST ADVERSARY next year, so both CHILD 44 and THE SECRET SPEECH will have a new look.
In Germany THE SECRET SPEECH, or KOLYMA as it is titled there, has been released in paperback and has reached number 10 in the charts. Over 120,000 copies have been sold, taking the total number of copies of THE SECRET SPEECH sold to well over 500,000 with more to come as the paperback rolls out internationally. With the sales in CHINA, CHILD 44 has now passed 1.5 million copies internationally.
I’m honored, and dare I say it, thrilled, that CHILD 44 has been included in a recent vote, conducted by NPR, of the top 100 thrillers of all time. Here is an extract from their website explaining the process.
It’s been a cliffhanger, but now the final page can be turned.
The NPR audience nominated some 600 novels to our “Killer Thrillers” poll and cast more than 17,000 ballots. The final roster of winners is a diverse one to say the least, ranging in style and period from Dracula to The Da Vinci Code, Presumed Innocent to Pet Sematary. What these top 100 titles share, however, is that all of them are fast-moving tales of suspense and adventure.
And menace. Critic Maureen Corrigan, who served on the advisory panel of experts for this project, was surprised by how dark many of your choices are. “Even the [Agatha] Christie pick, And Then There Were None, is one of her creepier novels.”
Co-panelist, novelist and critic Patrick Anderson was more impressed with the overall quality of the choices: “The vast majority of these are very good books or classics … Thomas Harris, Dennis Lehane, Patricia Highsmith — this audience knows good writing.”
For the full article and the complete list, which includes many of my favorite novels, you go can to the website. If that link doesn’t work, the full address is below.
CHILD 44 has made the shortlist for Crime Novel Of the Year, the Theakston’s Old Peculiar Prize awarded on the opening night of the Harrogate Crime festival. Obviously I’m thrilled. The shortlist which was decided by a public vote. However, a slightly different system is used to decide the winner, a combination of a judging panel and a public vote. There is still time to vote, so go to the Harrogate festival website in order to register your vote.
Here is the information taken from that website. You can even attend the ceremony on Thursday 22nd July. I’ll be there. Tickets are available for sale, once again, check out their website for more information.
The Theakstons Old Peculier Crime Novel of the Year Shortlist has been announced.
Unlike other literary awards, with the Crime Novel of the Year it’s what readers think that really counts. Voting is open from 1st to 21st July to help determine which books from the Shortlist of 8 books – all chosen by you, the readers, in a 1st round vote – will go on to take the prize.
The eventual winner will be decided by combining the result of this public vote with the votes of a panel of expert judges: Jenni Murray, BBC Radio 4 broadcaster and author; John Dugdale, Guardian Associate Media Editor; Natalie Haynes, comedian and journalist; and Simon Theakston, Executive Director of T&R Theakston Ltd.
The 2010 Shortlist
In The Dark – Mark Billingham
The Surrogate – Tania Carver
A Simple Act Of Violence - RJ Ellory
The Crossing Places – Elly Griffiths
Dead Tomorrow – Peter James
Gallows Lane – Brian McGilloway
Doors Open – Ian Rankin
Child 44 – Tom Rob Smith
The second edit of the third book has now been completed. And thanks to everyone who emailed me with regards to the title – partly due to your feedback the title has been changed. Though A NEW WORLD felt interesting and appropriate considering the content of the book, it seemed many of you found it lacking. The new title will be AGENT 6. There is an element of mystery around who AGENT 6, something which isn’t revealed until later, but also the use of number ties the book back to the first book in the trilogy, CHILD 44. There is only one more edit to go and the book should be finished by the end of the summer ready for publication in 2011. I’m really excited about it – Leo’s last story will hopefully be his best.
I have heard that CHILD 44 has been longlisted for Crime Novel of the Year, a prize run by the excellent and always very well attended Harrogate Crime festival, which was one of my first ever festival appearances back in 2008. The delay between publication and eligibility for the prize is explained by the fact that they work off the publication of the paperback, rather than the hardback. Anyway, it’s great to be nominated. I find out in July if the book has made the shortlist. You can vote for the book at the Harrogate festival homepage. http://www.harrogate-festival.org.uk/crime/